At Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., where I majored in news journalism and minored in philosophy, I was fortunate to take my first reporting class from Albion Ross, a foreign news reporter for many years for The New York Times. “The training of a writer is the training of a thinker!” he would bellow, after dismissing yet another story of mine as flat-footed drivel. I can’t say I enjoyed his classroom critiques, but they gave me an unshakable confidence. When I visited him in a monastery where he had retired in the Swiss Alps, he greeted with a warm smile.
I’m also an experienced editor who has moved from designing and laying out pages with print production staff to editing breaking news for digital-only publishers. I’ve worked on a few start-up publications, too, long on idealism and short on funding but stretched my skills. I like challenges.
The bylines below represent some of my best work; to read more, please contact me here.
I loved digging into background and sources in the three monthly blogs that I wrote for businessjournalism.org, which business journalists used as a “jumpstart” in developing stories on a wide range of topics.
There must be a mistake, I thought, when I opened my first unemployment check. I had just been laid off from my job a few weeks after 9/11 and the amount was for less than I expected. I had rolled over my pension within the 90 days required by federal law, so I called — and kept calling — until I learned the facts: New York State was one of about a dozen states at the time that penalized laid-off workers for taking their pensions early. That didn’t seem fair to me after doing some reporting and realizing that many other mid-career, middle-aged, laid-off workers were suffering the same fate, too, so I took my case to the court of public opinion and pitched the story to The New York Times.
After Quinn retired her column in 2001, I reported for five Newsweek covers on the economy post-Enron, wrote two stories in this special section on the challenge of making your money grow in tough economic times, and reported for her Newsweek column as needed.
I interviewed street kids and staff in these two essays, which pubished in two annual reports that I produced for Covenant House, the Times Square shelter for runaway and abused kids. In a sense, these stories wrote themselves — all I did was listen.
This essay, written early in my career when I worked on the staff of a start-up national news publication, still resonates today. Sadly, religious intolerance continues to make news headlines today.
“I Feel Like I Committed a Crime,” the first of a two-part series of the pros and cons of abortion that published shortly after Roe vs. Wade, won a First Place in the Interview category from the National Press Women. I wasn’t surprised at the reader response that made the phone ring.